The sound of birds twittering and leaves rustling on a breeze slowly roused the teen. He blinked rapidly and brought a hand up to block the harsh sun suddenly blaring down on him. Brown eyes squinted as they adjusted to the new light, and the teen shifted on his seat. Turned out, that was a bad idea.
With a loud squawk, Val tumbled out of a tree, smashing into every branch by gravity’s pull. He bounced with a grunt on a slanted pebbled bank and rolled down into the shallows of a sparkling river, soaking his clothes.
Groaning, the new gamer pushed himself onto his feet in the happy water. He already felt huge bruises forming everywhere. He brushed his wet bangs aside, and then paused.
Something was wrong.
Val stared down at his arm incased in creamy cloth strapped by leather bracers.
What the hell was going on? What was this?
He checked himself out. A weaved leather cuirass hugged his torso and shoulders. His other arm matched its twin. Dark leggings stretched down his waist into knee-less greaves strapped over ankle boots.
What the hell was going on?
Val sloshed out of the river to the bank and took a good look at the surroundings. It was all bright green, yet with an ominous feel to it. Nothing was familiar.
Where the hell was he?
Hello! Welcome Val!
A computerized voice echoed sharply in his ears. Val cringed with a startled cry and covered his throbbing head, but the unknown voice pushed on unaware.
Welcome to the game, Val! There are a few rules to go over before you begin…
The game? Val glanced around again while the voice rambled on. What it said irked him. Not only that, but there was no visible source of the voice! And how the hell did it know his name?!
Phew! Now that we have that out of the way, let’s start! In the beginning, new players like you receive a basic quest.
A sudden ping sounded in his head.
It’s activated now. The start of your quest is at the tavern. Follow the Arrow, and Good Luck!
It disappeared, leaving Val quite disturbed and lost.
I’m…in a game? The thought echoed in his head over and over again. Several minutes passed for him to vaguely accept the fact he wasn’t where he was supposed to be, and that he should play along for a short while.
What do I do now? It said follow the arrow? What arrow? Val looked about him, scanning the ground for a wooden shaft and metal tip. Nothing. He sighed heavily and glanced up to the horizon in an annoyed fashion. A silver arrowhead flashed in the distance.
Val moved further upstream past the trees to get a better view. It pointed down at a building. A building that… graced the very top of a… mountain.
You gotta be kidding me. There? Val stared doubtfully at the scenery. But the arrow didn’t move to some other, closer location. He surrendered and dejectedly began the trek with squelching shoes through the hills to the Tavern. Maybe there was a way out of the game. Maybe he could go home.